By John Petrolino
New Jersey – -(Ammoland.com)- Flipping through social media is one of those activities that can be brain numbingly wasteful of time with wisps of humor, chuckles and ‘oh, that’s what they’re up to’ moments.
But also, in the midst of sifting through trolls, paid advertisements and reading about what that kid you knew from homeroom in the 90’s had for breakfast, you can stumble upon some wonderful gems.
I was recently on a 2nd Amendment related facebook page and a post popped up from a gentleman running for Congress in New Jersey, Michael J. Cino. Cino, now a Republican, is looking toward the 2016 election against incumbent Scott Garrett as the 5th district representative. He ran against Garrett in 2002 election under an Independent party. His message on the facebook page was simple, “The Michael J. Cino Campaign page is now officially launched” or something closely resembling that verbiage. What he received in return was not so simple….
Mr. Cino received a barrage of questions asking him about his stance on the Second Amendment, you know, the one with the guns. Myself included, we pressed him on topics. At first, in a non-comitial way he would respond in ways like “I support the Second Amendment.” Being in this community, one would know that an answer like that is not good, or good enough. So members began to press harder and I did too. Eventually I got a private message from Cino answering my questions.
After conversing with him for a while, he agreed to be interviewed/have his responses reported:
Michael J. Cino Interview
Ammoland: What is your stance on the Second Amendment?
Cino: I am 100% behind the 2nd Amendment.
Ammoland: What is your feeling about Concealed Carry for personal protection?
Cino: I don't think that anyone should have the government tell them how to carry – the individual should have the freedom to choose how they want to carry.
Ammoland: What are you feelings on Concealed Carry Reciprocity?
Cino: I think New Jersey should recognize the licenses which other States grant their citizens. So if someone is from Texas, their Texas permits are good in New Jersey.
Ammoland: Speaking of New Jersey, what are your thoughts on the ‘Justifiable Need’ clause in our code concerning obtaining a CCW?
Cino: New Jersey’s laws are ridiculous, they are way behind [the times] on the laws…We need to advance the cause. The Right to Bear Arms does not require “showing a need.” To be honest, I do not understand how or why a government is allowed to tell a citizen how they can carry. It should be up to the individual.
Ammoland: What else can you comment on New Jersey’s situation?
Cino: Take a look at the gun laws around the country and tell me New Jersey isn’t way behind. Plus the supposed leaders of past decades have done little to advance the gun laws cause in New Jersey legislature. They are like ‘pretend 2nd Amendment supporters.’
Ammoland: What do you propose as a solution?
Cino: On the state level, what we need is all the Republicans to stand firm, and then they have to negotiate to get a certain amount of democrats on our side for far better gun legislation and then we can get bills through the NJ legislature. For decades, our side has just sat passively in the minority and all the big court cases on guns came out of other states.
Ammoland: Concerning a federal level, what is your opinion on some of the bills that are in congress? Excluding all the reciprocity bills, as you’ve already committed to that cause….Can you comment on the following bills?
- H.R. 131: To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of f irearms…
- S. 407: Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act of 2015
- H.R. 1114: To modify the definition of “antique firearm”.
Cino: H. R. 131 provides for improvements in the Federal laws involving interstate transport, specifically prohibits the arrest or detention of a person for a violation of any state or local law or regulation related to the possession, transportation, or carrying of firearms unless there is probable cause to believe that the person is doing so in a manner not provided for under federal law.
This proposed law H. R. 131 also provides that when a person asserting such proposed Federal law as a defense in a criminal proceeding: (1) the prosecution shall bear the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person's conduct did not satisfy federal conditions; and (2) the court shall award the prevailing defendant a reasonable attorney's fee.
I support H. R. 131.
S 407 the Large Capacity Feeding Device Ammunition Act is a proposed law sponsored by [NJ] Senator Menendez (D) designed to restrict gun owners and what they can do with their guns. I oppose this proposed legislation.
On the antique firearms issues, I am aware that a person was arrested for possessing an antique firearm. This is ridiculous. Our Federal and State laws should be rationalized to make it easier for people to comply with the laws, and not make it more complicated so law-abiding citizens face trouble.
Ammoland: Is there anything you would like to add or get out to your constituents in New Jersey, gun owners or the public at large?
Cino: The gun laws in New Jersey are complex – and I believe those New Jersey gun laws are needlessly complex. First I would like to emphasis to you that I am in favor of making New Jersey a “Constitutional Carry State” which means that concealed gun permits would not be needed in New Jersey.
The Second Amendment is your permit.
Other States which have laws of this kind are Arizona, Arkansas, Alaska, Maine, Vermont, Kansas and Wyoming. This idea is not a far-off idea – there are many States already doing it.
We all see on the news the Ferguson, Missouri situation has flared up again. I am 100% convinced that the people of Ferguson are safer on account of Missouri's guns laws, which are far more permissive than the laws in New Jersey. The People of Missouri are able to arm themselves, and protect themselves in times of civil unrest. This is what our Founding Fathers envisioned.
It is sad that New Jersey' People, living in one of the original thirteen States to cast off the tyranny of the British, do not have proper access to guns as our Founding Fathers had and envisioned to guarantee under the Second Amendment. There is much work to do but we see the path ahead of us.
From inception of our dialogue, let this serve as an example of how our public servants can be. Its always talked about how a politician will tell you anything you want to hear when they’re running for office…and that they have the time of day to respond to your requests when they need your vote.
What I can tell you of Cino is he posted on a facebook page, was put into a corner and he put his thoughts out on the line. He responded and it is all here. Cino, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors running for congress. New Jersey gun owners….This is where the man stands on our subject. Lets all put faith in his answers, and lest us never forget if he’s elected into office (I know we won’t…).
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii